View Full Version : How do you plan your armies?

28-05-2008, 04:53
How do you plan your armies? Do you just chuck in what you think looks cool? Do you plan on making everything min/ max? Do you have some fluff or theme?

The way I plan my armies is according to the old Tactica I read somewhere about crushing an enemy target fully before moving onto the next target. For example, if I'm taking Black Templars, I have a Chaplain with Jump Pack leading 10 Assault Initiates with the vow Accept the Challenge. I know it's not so much beardy as just a heap of attacks that would potentially overwhelm a small to medium enemy target. Another example is how I play my Tau. I try to have as many troops in Devilfish as possible. I then cruise them down one flank and totally obliterate an enemy position through the sheer number of shots. Again, I don't think it's being beardy, just concentrating fire on a single target.

Although, I must admit, this approach is starting to get stale. I win more often than not and it's getting boring always before the game thinking what I want to do and when during the game. I'm starting to think that maybe I should make my army according to a theme/ fluff.

So, how do you plan your armies?

28-05-2008, 04:58
I always look around at what "people" are using in their armies and take a good look at the things they are not using. Or "what are my favorite 4 units in this codex... how can I make an army out of this".

Seems to work ok.

28-05-2008, 05:02
I pick an army Idea that I like (effectiveness/coolness) then I try to make it as powerul as possible. money comes into consideration too, as while taking 9 obliterators is effective (personally it would be very powerful) it is $315 for nine models! I don't really consider armies to be cheesy, just effective and not (thus I have things like 2 lashes for my chaos).

Grand Warlord
28-05-2008, 05:06
I tend to take the models I will like to take the time to model and paint and then work on a battle plan afterwards.

28-05-2008, 05:08
1. I come up with a theme / strength I want to play to.
2. I check the cost.
3. if acceptable I build around it a and add options for other lists.
4. if play testign reveals a galring weakness... I'll try to address that.

28-05-2008, 06:14
Normally I'll have a read through the relevant tactica thread to see what people run. Next comes the fun part when I go fantasy shopping, which is done in conjunction with Army Builder to work on some lists. Once I have a 3000 point list worked out I then try to get it as cheap as possible.

In a nutshell I buy what looks cool and fun to paint/model.

28-05-2008, 06:15
I take some models or a modelling idea that I find really great and work on them.

At a later point, I attempt to come up with a theme (even if it's only as tenuous as a feeling) as to how the army should go.

I frequently find myself eliminating units from consideration based on how ugly the models are, how little I feel like painting them, or how they don't really fit my "theme".


28-05-2008, 06:19
For me i just get a few from a tradfing site like here then make the extra options for the squad so it may be 13 minis for a 10 man squad and just get some troops then look to see what has nice rules and get them and or cool lookng minis.

28-05-2008, 06:36
Plan? Wassat den?

Seriously though, while in the later stages of an army I make plans of what to buy, early on it's pretty much "grab what's cool and make an army out of it". Inefficient, but meh.

Marshal Argos
28-05-2008, 07:26
Fluff. For example my last army, IG, I first looked at the codex and thought hmm... what sort of army do I want. Mech, Armor, Inf, Drop Troop, Combined Arms, etc... Then roughed out the background, organization, history for the army, and then started to buy the models to fit into the units. When it came time to add armor (I play Drop Troop so I have no armor) I started over again. First I created the background for the armored unit, then I started buying the units to fit in.

28-05-2008, 07:29
For me I read the codex find out what units would be really fun to use like the Big Mek shocka gun then find a theme. Then finally I make a list post it here make use of all the comments then its fanstay shopping to see how much it will cost. If its a lot I check Ebay and if I still cant get it cheap. I make another list that use cheaper models.

28-05-2008, 07:35
I take a look at the minis, decide to buy 2000 points, buy each unit at least once with a focus on Troops (that way it's pretty much codex/rulebook change proof and I never need to whine ;)), and at some point end up somewhere between 5000 and 6000 points of anything I start, sometimes more. :D
So, factually, I don't plan, but buy what I like.

28-05-2008, 07:37
WH40K buying plan.

1. See a couple of figures I like.
2. Buy figures, Codex and few other toys.
3. Regret buying them.
4. Return figures to ebay.
5. Paint more Nids.

My "I'm fed up of having boxes of unpainted stuff around" plan to get into Warmachine / Hordes:

1. Buy the Boxset for chosen Faction.
2. Paint it.
3. Read up on units I like the look of, buy one of them.
4. Paint it, repeat step 3 until have 500pts.
5. Work on next Faction.

28-05-2008, 07:38
My "I'm fed up of having boxes of unpainted stuff around" plan to get into Warmachine / Hordes:

1. Buy the Boxset for chosen Faction.
2. Paint it.
3. Read up on units I like the look of, buy one of them.
4. Paint it, repeat step 3 until have 500pts.
5. Work on next Faction.

Not working, I guess? ;)

28-05-2008, 07:55
For my armies it just tends to be an idea from my head, as my orks are. however sometimes i do follow codex (zomg what) like i am currently doing with daemons. if you have read it which im sure you have the short story The Warp Unleashed in the daemons book for 40k, i am basing my army on that. in 1500 points i have. Skulltaker (well his name is deathrender to keep with the story) Herald of Nurgle, Bloodthirster, 20 Bloodletters, 20 Daemonettes, 15 Plague Bearers 2 beasts of nurgle and 3 Juggers.

28-05-2008, 08:34
@ Bloodknight: I'm surprised the plan for WM/Hordes is working so well myself! :D

I have a small Cryx force but I really want to start legion...Tyranid type beasties + Evil Elves!!! WTFBBQ!!!111 as the young people say...

But I'm holding out on getting my nids painted until I get some. Still got my Tyrants, a Fex, and 40 odd gribblies to paint...which will take months to paint at my speed :(

What is helping is that every penny saved is going towards wedding in autumn ;) although small daemon does keep pointing out GF's expenditure on ciggies...

And Circle are cool, too...hmmm....

Edit: One good thing is that I've kinda finally settled on my 40K armies after only a couple of decades. One bad thing is the new starter box...I do love the Ork models but at my painting speed it would take years to paint an Ork force.

That's another good thing about WM/Hordes: fewer models to carry around. :D

battle captain corpus
28-05-2008, 09:06
I just take 2 core troops and a HQ then chuck in some fun stuff. Forget the beard/cheese factors.

Royal Tiger
28-05-2008, 09:22
when I build an army at look through the codex at the pictures, and if I go "oooooooooooh thats a nice model" I go look at the points and slap it in, no care about its stats or anything else, as long as it looks nice (and I can afford it)

officer kerky
28-05-2008, 09:40
if i like it i'll buy it for my army wether its good or not

28-05-2008, 09:44
Buy a battle force or 2 (or 3) or an army box (or 2) to get the core of an army, from there, fill any missing things that are needed to make a valid force, from there buy things that interest me and look cool.

28-05-2008, 10:02
With my group we arrange a game and randomly determine the mission. Then we build armies with the mission and the potential enemy army build in mind. Makes each game different and rarely does anyone play the same build repeatedly.

28-05-2008, 11:05
I have always started with a backstory based around the models I like, to form the core and theme and then expanded from there.
I have been collecting and gaming so long now I have a set of tried and tested tactics and lists for all missions and scenarios, with the core of the force remaining the same and other choices added to suit.
Fluff will always come first and each game is an opportunity for my Craftworld/Chapter/Sept to evolve.

Wise Guy Sam
28-05-2008, 11:34
My plan is simple. If its got a flying base I won't buy it. I'm sick of breaking those damn things.

28-05-2008, 13:04
I Kinda do all of the above before I got rid of my armies and will do so again once I get my army established. Heres what I mean:

1) Have a basic Fluff idea.
2) Build it out to make the most effective army I can.
3) Remove points as needed to include a model or two that I want on the table (I call this my modeler's ego) w/o compramising 1& 2.

28-05-2008, 13:18

For Guard I wanted a 100 guardsmen with assult weapons, no hevey weps and built around that,

for Eldar I was just staring into space in the middle of tescos and thought 30 dire avengers cool.

Marines well 18 years is a long time to avoid doing an army so I thought 3 squads of 10 marines and sicarius ( the one with the claws) yay

I know this is absent mindedness on my part and has led to some armies that have got battered but they look so cool and fluffy while doing it

28-05-2008, 13:29
5. Paint more Nids.

this is whay I like to see! :D

I always plan out new armies by buying the codex and creating a list out of units and models I like.
With my older forces (battle sisters and tyranids) I buy new models that are released and add them to the force. It's not about 'what do I need next?' its 'what haven't I got?' for these two.

28-05-2008, 14:17
To be honest, I wing it from game to game and what mood I'm in at the time in regards to my chaos.
My gaurd, I am still working on.

28-05-2008, 14:54
It was weird cos with all my previous 40k armies (i was until recently primarily a fantasy player) i'd buy a battleforce box and a few bits, glue them, paint a couple, play a game or two then decide i didn't like them, and got rid. Then for some strange reason i decided to take a leap with the new orks and bought whatever cheap deal i could find on ebay which consisited of half the lot being ready painted/assembled and the other lot unassembled which meant i could get straight into playing while also modelling and painting and i've never looked back. The key to it is, is that i bought all sorts of different troops and played smaller games so i could take an army that would be effective against my opponent. I also try and fit some fluff in but i find using an army that i am comfortable with far more enjoyable.

28-05-2008, 14:55
I buy 3000-5000 points worth of stuff for starters, and then play around like crazy, almost never taking the same army list twice. When I get bored I switch and play with another army for a while, then go back to the first, etc.

After the initial frenetic activity with a new army I settle down for a while, then begin to rotate through all my armies, and eventually tell myself I'll finish painting my 14,000 points of unpainted Eldar (to go along with the 6000 I have painted)... at which point I then go and do something silly like buy a bunch of daemons instead. :D


Goq Gar
28-05-2008, 15:00
I have an equation:

x = # of 1000's pts.

x times 3 = number of full 30 boy mobz to use.

x + ghazgkull + KFF mek = First priority.

Once first priority is purchased, second priority is specials.

x = # 1000's pts. x = # of units of lootaz/ burnas to take.


x = # 1000's pts. 2x = number of kanz to take, and may replace 3 kanz with 1 deff dread.

28-05-2008, 15:09
First find race I like, then find fluff I like, then get concept for force, then buy force and paint it. Play force untill I can atleast win every now and then, or start modifying slowly.

That's why I have a Iyanden List, Black legion enc, all built on fluff.

28-05-2008, 15:15
My plan is simple. If its got a flying base I won't buy it. I'm sick of breaking those damn things.

I would take my mandatory FOC slots as necessary ensuring they fulfill a defined roll (normally 2 tac squads w/special weapon for anti inf shooting, and Chaplain leading assault for anti inf cc). Then I make sure I have enough anti tank support to protect those units. Finally I take whatever seems/looks cool.

However, in honesty, I grab whatever is painted first. Also, my opponents are real cool, so we normally talk about what we are taking and make sure the armies are balanced against each other. This prevents one person from having no anti tank support and the other person running an armored company, etc. We do themed combats, custom scenerios, and just try to have a good time rolling dice and drinking beer.

28-05-2008, 16:57
For my Tyranids I always, always start with at least 60 Gaunts, no matter how big or small the game is. 40 Spinegaunts and 20 Termegaunts are at the core of all of my armies, though I may shave down 20-bug squads to 16-bug squads in games smaller than 2000 pts (of which I admittedly don't play that many). After that, a minimum of a Tyrant, 6 Warriors, and 2 Zoanthropes goes to Synapse control. After that, I can do pretty much whatever I want until I run out of points. These usually go to auxiliary Gaunts, Hormagaunts, and Genestealers (enough to give me at least 80 bodies in 1500 pts, and every 500 pt increment after that adds 20 bodies to this minimum). The rest goes to Carnifexes and spare Biomorphs, but by this point I'm lucky to have 400 pts to work with.

My Chaos Marines always start with a Lashprince and 3 Chaos Marine squads: a Rocketplas, an Autoplas, and either a Lasplas or a HvyboltPlas (usually the latter), all with naked Champs for the extra attack and (more importantly) Ld10. After this, I beef out what little I have left with more bodies, including one Cult Marine unit of choice and two Obliterators. My lists often include Chosen, typically as many as 20, with one at a long-to-medium-ranged role and one at a combat-to-close-ranged role. Then I plunk down a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch (yes that makes 2 Daemon Princes :evilgrin:) and if I have anything left I take upgrades on my Champions. However, I ditch all these upgrades if they could get me a Defiler for their points instead, which is a much better investment than an extra Oblit and a few Powerfists here and there.

28-05-2008, 17:28
I guess the Background is what pulls me in. Then I'll make sure that there are models I like and try to find a strong theme to create the army around. I then get the codex/army book and make a small list before buying it.

28-05-2008, 22:42
My first considereation is how many skulls i'll have to paint on the mini, and how long that will take. then no matter what decision i come to , i buy it anyway, it sits on a shelf fo a year or two, then i paint it. there is no rhyme or reason to what i paint, and whether it's effective or not is my last cosideration. I've won as many games for the wow factor of my paint jobs as for actual skill or ability with the army. I've been painting night lords for over ten years, so anything i paint is for my enjoyment first, everything else is secondary,

Getifa Ubazza
28-05-2008, 23:01
Usually i buy the codex and a boxed set of the basic TROOPs. I read the codex and build/paint the models. I then sit the models on my shelf and stare at them for a while. If im still hungry for more, i get another TROOPs unit and a HQ. Once they are painted, the next codex comes out and i start all over again. I usually come back to an army later in the year, when GW release an army i dont like or release something for WFB or LotR.

Usually i build my armies like so:

1. Codex and 1st TROOP.
2. 2nd TROOP and 1 HQ.
4. Theme as i want.

28-05-2008, 23:12
i build them around a set theme or fluff i develop for them...usually based on conversions i want to tackle.
next i build a 1500 pts list around what i think they might carry or to tie it in with the general idea.
then i usually step it back here and there to make it both cool to look at, as well as moderately effective.

i also tend to build a few lists with different dexes for the less obvious races..like admech or squats.

28-05-2008, 23:48
I put it like this.

I like Fluff and try to incorporate it.

But I will never buy a fluffy model if it hurts my list power.

29-05-2008, 00:06
Usually I skim the codex and look at the army box, and see what's the "vibe" I get from the army overall, then picture where I'd like to go with it...

Then, come the budget breaks (or brakes, as necessary). This way I know just how much I'm spending and in how many months, as it helps me plan my hobby time and the growth of my project well ahead and with a fair share of accuracy.

Usually, I go for either the army box (or the typical battleforce + squad/mob/brood configuration), and ONE HQ option, following my projected theme/paint scheme.

Then, I go for vehicles, if any, enough to service my basic configuration (planned for "typical" 2,200-point games).

Next step are my "spec" units which would be the really personal touches in an army well under way and well-defined.

Finally, and as budget allows and preferences evolve, I start to add more infantry and a few goodies (which is fine as I never stopped at the "official" mixes of units, and Apocalypse opened a few eyes to the fact that fluffy armies with lots of things in 'em can be a kick).

So far, Orkz, Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Tau have been collected this way. Next up are Tyranid and Ultramarines (thanks to cool metal figs and the plastic goodies in the upcoming box). By the end of the year, when I take my 1 1/2 month-long vacations, I'll be retaking my Necron project full speed ahead, I hope.

But as always, first things considered are my willingness to commit and my ability to spend.

I was tired of having too much un and half-painted stuff lying around.

29-05-2008, 00:55
Wow, looking at the responces, it seems that my approach is far more "scientific" than "artistic" like everyone else! Now I really do feel like a physicist and engineer :D (Good thing I have the relative degrees to back that claim up!)

29-05-2008, 02:35
I play Orks and this strange plan you speak of frightens and confuses me.

I tend to take things I think are neat and go from there. At the moment, I'm just following the advice of my buddy who's played for a few years, to make sure I do everything I want with my army before doing another one. It's working out so far since we seem to be co-building Orks. We figure that we'll be able to field almost any Ork army by the end of the year or so and that's kind of nice.

For now though, I'm starting with the Green Tide and slowly adding mechanization and bigger guns while decreasing the number of standard Boyz on the table, all the while, looting everything I possibly can. Hopefully, it'll wind up interesting and fun.

29-05-2008, 02:51
Quite simple for me:

Write up a list, proxy it against the gauntlet of players at my club, figure out what it is weak at and fiddle with the original list, gauntlet again. Then when it wins 80% of the games with a balanced list I buy the models.